City focus on parking education

City of Parksville wants to ensure parking issues don't get out of control

Areas in the above image from the city

Areas in the above image from the city

The name might be Parksville, but parking could become an issue if the city doesn’t take some steps.

According to a delayed Downtown Core Parking Study, occupancy rose from 65 to 73 percent during the peak hour over just two years while some areas hit 84 percent and city owned lots reach 100 per cent full at their peak.

On-street public parking is plentiful, but the study points to a problem with the city’s four off-street public lots being near capacity.

“There is clear and convincing evidence we are lacking in off-street parking in the downtown core,” said director of engineering and operations Robert Harary.

While councillors discussed anecdotal evidence of whether it’s hard to park downtown, the data indicates that things are fine now but need some planning for the future.

The Boulevard Transportation Group report was submitted to council with a 37 item implementation schedule ranging from simple educational and policy adjustments, to more capital intensive suggestions like purchasing new lots and implementing pay parking.

The good news, Harary said, is that the report doesn’t call for on-street metered parking in the foreseeable future, though it does suggest nominal rates ($3/day) for off-street public lots in the next few years, mostly to encourage people to find other easy options.

It points out that no parking is free, it’s just a question of whether the user pays directly or the community subsidizes it through taxes.

The report says that downtown businesses are the main problem, not providing enough parking for employees, who use the convenient and free city lots rather than walking, biking, car-pooling, or paying for parking elsewhere.

The study focuses on the 790 public spaces in the downtown core, touches on 490 additional spaces in Community Park and nearby residential streets and mentions 1,200 private spots in private lots.

It suggests a long-term approach, starting with simple items like encouraging people to park a bit farther away and/or using alternate transportation.

Harary pointed out that 71 percent of respondents to a survey included in the study said it was acceptable to walk two or three blocks to their destination and in every case of a full city parking lot there are plenty of rarely used spaces within three blocks.

It found people are generally happy with parking in the city, with 58 percent saying there is enough.

There was initially some discomfort among councillors who thought they were being asked to support all 37 recommendations, until it was made clear they where just accepting the report for information and staff would start working through individual items as time and funds allowed. Any substantial changes will come back for council approval.

The study is actually the result of two portions after the first draft was submitted in November 2009 at the height of engineering and operations staff shortages.

The draft report was shelved until Harary requested updated details last September. The total cost of the study was $46,680, including $5,000 for the update.

Staff estimates the capital projects would cost more than $2 million and council was clear they are not eager to embark on the more expensive items in the foreseeable future.


Just Posted

Hannes Grosse, left, and Iris Steigemann, right, as they prepared for their 'Moments of Silence' exhibit. The father-daughter duo are showing at The Old School House Arts Centre in Qualicum Beach until June 26. (Submitted photo)
Cortes Island artists exhibit at Qualicum Beach’s TOSH in first father-daughter show

Both artists will be present at shows on Friday, June 25 and Saturday, June 26

The Lighthouse Country Marine Rescue Society will get more funding from the Regional District of Nanaimo. (Submitted Photo)
More PQB communities to fund Lighthouse Country Marine Rescue Society

RDN to introduce amendment to service bylaw contribution

A slide on best practices when reporting a suspected impaired driver that was presented to Parksville city council on June 7 by Margarita Bernard, a volunteer with MADD. The organization’s Report Impaired Drivers campaign involves the installation of informative signs within the City of Parksville. (Mandy Moraes photo)
MADD brings campaign to report impaired drivers to Parksville

Aim is to raise awareness that 911 should be called

Pam Bottomley (executive director), right and Sandy Hurley (president) of the Parksville Downtown Business Association visit the PQB News/VI Free Daily studio. (Peter McCully photo)
PQBeat: Downtown Parksville gears up for post-pandemic bounce back

Podcast: Hurley, Bottomley chat about what’s ahead for the PDBA

Maxwell Johnson is seen in Bella Bella, B.C., in an undated photo. The Indigenous man from British Columbia has filed complaints with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission after he and his granddaughter were handcuffed when they tried to open a bank account. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Heiltsuk Nation, Damien Gillis, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
VIDEO: Chiefs join human rights case of Indigenous man handcuffed by police in B.C. bank

Maxwell Johnson said he wants change, not just words, from Vancouver police

Two ambulances and a medevac helicopter are on scene at Taylor River Flats rest area on Highway 4 due to a serious motor vehicle incident. (PHOTO COURTESY MAGGIE BROWN)
Highway 4 reopens between Port Alberni and Tofino

Multi-vehicle accident temporarily closed highway in both directions

Tk’emlups te Secwepemc Chief Rosanne Casimir stands outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School after speaking to reporters, in Kamloops, B.C., on Friday, June 4, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Kamloops chief says more unmarked graves will be found across Canada

Chief Rosanne Casimir told a virtual news conference the nation expects to release a report at the end of June

A woman wears a vaccinated sticker after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. ranks among highest in world in COVID-19 first-dose shots: health officials

More than 76% of eligible people have received their 1st shot

A screenshot of the First Peoples Cultural Councils First Peoples’ Map. (First Peoples Cultural Council)
Online resource blends B.C.-Alberta’s Indigenous languages, art and culture

Advisor says initiative supports the urgent need to preserve Indigenous languages

An artists conception of the new terminal building at the Pitt Meadows Regional Airport.
Air travel taking off in B.C., but lack of traffic controllers a sky-high concern

There will be demand for more air traffic controllers: Miller

Canadian Armed Forces experts are on their way to North Vancouver after a local homeowner expressed worry about a military artifact he recently purchased. (Twitter DNV Fire and Rescue)
Military called in to deal with antique ‘shell’ at North Vancouver home

‘The person somehow purchased a bombshell innocently believing it was an out-of-commission military artifact’

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz have set their wedding date for February, hoping that more COVID-19 restrictions will have lifted. (The Macleans)
B.C. couples ‘gambling’ on whether COVID rules will let them dance at their wedding

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz pushed back their wedding in hopes of being able to celebrate it without the constraints of COVID-19

A plane is silhouetted as it takes off from Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C., May 13, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Report calls for airlines to refund passengers for flights halted due to COVID-19

Conclusion: federal help should be on the condition airlines immediately refund Canadian travellers

Most Read